is this a technology reset as Apple shifts the weight back on the programmer

Are we at a pinnacle point in the shift of processing speed and applications size…?

im realising how different things are changing thanks in many way to apples view on how things should be and really we seem to be going through a technology breakdown and rebuild as having been working with the new Apple iPad iPhone and also iTunesLP, i have come to some interesting conclusions on what Apples is doing 

I might be wrong but im pretty deep into the core of this stuff and having been into computers as a geek for over 20 years I do understand its workings and what seems to be happening is very interesting in deed.

I would like to use a bloated PC windoze machine (that needs scraping because it’s so slow) and the flash plug-in  as my main example reference points in this explanation. 

im starting to get this feeling again that i used to have when i was running my little music rave world it was a feeling that i knew who was doing what and who the real movers in the scene were and a clarity i can not really explain but im getting this feeling again and it’s a good feeling as since working on my new albums in this new media delivery system that is Apples world im seeing simplicity on a frustrating scale.

I can see how they are almost single handedly changing the computer scene or moulding it the way they want it to go with the new html5 and scraping intermediate apps.

Apple are one of those unique few that can see a much bigger picture and in computers i have always just been one of millions in the crowd like a raver in one of my raves (im like that) and apple are the rave organiser but i have been in control like Apple in the past being the rave organiser for many years in my music scene and moving the scene how i think it should move so I understand the big picture more than just someone in the crowd even if thats all i am in the computer world.

Working on the ipad and iphone I knew I was just in the crowd of ravers dancing to the music but I can suddenly  lift myself up and get a better view over the crowds as to whats going on and im looking at what im doing and seeing things that never clicked before because I was so engrossed in the moment of making an app for the iphone or ipad or iTunesLp.

What have I realised?

We are all so amazed by these innovations apple have brought out that we haven’t really seen the big picture and im looking now and realising that apple is actually in the mids of scrapping (or trying to scrap) pretty much everything thats been before and bringing the world of computers back to basics all be it with the latest and fasted hardware improvements we have today.

programming for the iphone or iTunesLp’s is simplistic at best but also frustrating for me because im used to having some software app like flash do all the hard work for me and the whole world is used to this way of working in every part of their computer programmes

as we switch on our computers we run different programs that let us do the least amount of tasks but still get the maximum results out. this has been the convenience of computers for many years and why they have become so essential in our lives but now having been working on Apples products i have realised that they want to try and scrap all those “intermediate applications” and reset the human programming with the computer in a way that is more direct and streamlined and by taking out the mini ‘intermediate programmes’ that do all the hard work for programmers the flow of the software should be more efficient (but only if the programming is good). 

what i mean to say is that (think of an old p.c. computer) over the many years we have always needed more memory and more hard drive space and more processing power because our applications are now all BLOATED with all the add ons and updates and  and and …

In order to get the minimum input for the maximum output these programs were getting more and more bloated with more and more intermediate applications running in the programmes making them bigger and slower on processors that were actually getting faster and faster.

think of it like walking the wrong way up an escalator with a bag of programmes (suitcase) thats getting bigger and bigger

as much as the escalator is moving you’re actually staying in the same place  and so the processors are getting faster and faster but the programs we were running were getting fatter and fatter and that weight was taking longer to process because they were running all these intermediate programmes to get the results we wanted so we were/are not actually seeing enjoyable speed improvements and in some cases slower speeds on new software even though our computer processors are running faster…

the Apple ipad is actually a simple platform and simple i don’t mean rubbish i just mean simple as in pure it has no bloated apps to run between the software and the hardware you have to code directly from your code via apples sdk to the computer there is no compilers like flash in-between but flash can fill the gaps and make your results look amazing with out doing the programming and taking this app out of the loop mean to still make your end results look amazing at the end you have todo the hard programming work yourself 

It’s really as basic as basic can get as everything “in between” is stripped out ,not allowed its all about the work you put into the programming is what you see coming out of the hardware. This makes its very tedious and slow to make the results your used to seeing in flash with 2 clicks of a button (and flash did the animation for you)

its like going from the latest computer generated pixar movie in 3D back to Disney black and white celluloid frames being had drawn and painted one by one

Why has apple chosen this route?

i suppose its pretty obvious really as the only thing that has really evolved is the hardware and all thats doing it holding us in the same place as the programmes are getting fatter and more bloated so we don’t actually move forward when hardware advances also running the top processors is expensive when you’re a computer manufacturer. wouldn’t it me cool if you could use a cheap processor running slower that actually gave faster results than the fastest processor because the application was more streamlined making it run faster on a slower processor.

I don’t know about you but honestly have you seen any real speed improvements on computers these last few years even though processors have got faster and memory has got faster ? I don’t see real improvements that make me go “wow mores law is working I can feel it!”

But apple seems to be clearing the board its “get rid of all intermediates because they slow things down”  all the program will run smoother and faster .

So there are many upsides for Apple in this approach as they don’t need the expensive processors to make things go faster in fact they can get much cheaper components for processing  due to the efficient applications they will be running.

It’s a cool and shrewd move that only Apple could have pulled off and it opens up their hardware to looking faster and cool compared to the old bloated computers others are still trying to make that have to carry all that baggage up the escalator plus Apple can spend their money on the new stuff like touch screen innovations rather than the latest fastest computer chips.

the drawbacks 

well this is the really hard bit to swallow, by shifting the creativity back on the programmers to draw every frame you make and programme all this extra code to complete any task a lot of applications will seem less colourful and less impressive as the work needed is now back on the programmer who is used to the two click and the intermediate program fills all the blanks and so as good as it is for Apple its defiantly a counter weight putting the strain back on the programmers to write every bit of code for every bit of software.

And thats the bit I personally find so very frustrating as it really is like going back to the beginning and yet we have to try to still look as impressive as people are used to expecting which is painfully slow and difficult to programme without the help of these intermediate programmes.
I see it like being a magician as its all smoke and mirrors to trick the user into thinking they have the same as any other programme out their but the difference is the apple stuff is much harder right now to get the end results as we are doing animation the hard way one frame at a time. I know the benefits will come down the line as these two systems split apart and cps start to get slower and macs start to seem faster but right now it’s a real bind and finding programmers that have creative flair is not al that easy I have always found either a great creative who programmes bad or a great programmer who has no creativity so this is really difficult times ahead for me in what im doing.

p.s. don’t forget to check out my iphone game and ipad comic coming end of jan all with itunesLP albums wooo hooo… Apple Apple Apple

Mark Ruff Ryder

music is my life computers is my geek

paradox trap


I’m realising how at ends i am with my life and work a constant tightrope of balancing as i have a Face book twitter blog and MySpace and also my artist ping but if i’m really honest i don’t want to communicate with the public i just want to make the music and keep a low profile 

Yes i’m getting swept away on this new media platform where we really can do it al ourselves and although i’m really cool with the tech side of it 

It will at some point once again all boil down to meeting the public and getting in front of the car headlights which i loath and my 20+ years of music making history has proven i can not handle

I don’t do well in crowds would be a good way to describe it like people that have a panic when there are too many people around

I’m finding that as good as i am in business and seemingly music there is a bit of the puzzle that i can not find within me to be over exposed or connected to people i don’t know.

Its a funny thing having an ability to do something others think is special as your not really doing it for them yet they think you have and so you get attention for something you have not done its a paradox where you don’t really know who you are and where it started or ends…

Rambling again.. 

So i am fully wired and yet i blog for my self and twitter for myself its sometimes with the though of saying something for the sake of others to read it but what comes out is always just me being me.

I would love to sell millions of records and make loads of money but still be unknown and for the last 20 years i have got away with this by staying underground and pulling big records from sale so they did not shine to bright (stop them pulling me in front of the car headlights)  but…..

Now as i look at how i have dived deeply into this massive project as a way of escape from the changing underground scene and music scene 

I can see the global potential for its success as its so unique and so me and so connected with today’s tech …i’m finding the fear once again mixed with excitement but untimely (based on all my passed success) a crash will be coming

If i fail i will crash

If i succeed i will crash 

These last few years have been keeping me going and i though i best just put my mind on paper again (digital paper) 

I’m looking forward to finishing because this has been like carrying a massive load on my back while trying to climb a mountain i’m ready to get it off my back now and its almost ready to be delivered but with that comes the “what next ” thoughts 

I think that all artists are like me i have tried to work out why so many artist are depressed and i don’t really have the answer i think it goes hand in hand as we escape into being creative and we dig really deep into the escape like crawling under the blankets to escape the bogy man at night 

and that deep hiding into our world is what makes it art rather than elevator music maybe?

Anyway got that down back to work…what more is there? 


slow but sure…everything is coming together

so not going to get a january release now due to time to correct the Itunes LPs


i think my ipad book and iphone game will be ready in time so at least im now converging for a proper multi release of the whole project which was always my dream anyway as no-one seems to understand how it all fits together but it will make sense once its all put together


i have a few ipad demos i have uploaded on my youtube page so you can see ow its progressing and maybe in a few weeks i will have the game uploaded on youtube also so keep checking there for any updates or subscribe or what ever you do on there to know whats happening.
I dont do a lot of the smoking online that your supposed to do although i have a facebook/myspace/blog/youtube/twitter they are not used to sell sell sell although i hope they to attract people interested in my music im never actively pushing my stuff and this blog is really my diary which i find really helpful when i read back sometimes as to how i was feeling and especially with my depression the earlier blogs on myspace show how bad i was and hopefully how i have come through most of it.


if your a person suffering from depression i can totally recommend the use of fluoxatine as a way to get you through as without it i would not have made it thats a certainty and its also a song in my deeper album when its released.


i feel more like an artist than i have ever felt in my life since going through this depression as i have just focused on my music as a life line to keep me going and its worked for me and maybe that will show in the creative results that being on the edge seems to give you in the world of art.


looking forward to xmas and some happy people enjoying life


Mark Ruff Ryder


ooh check out the japanese version of my comic and if anyone can read it i would appreciate them contacting me and helping me out by checking the whole comic for me as i don’t understand the translation but need someone who can tell me its ok?



Back To Top

one step forward … how many steps back with no skip or jump!


i cannot believe how much work has gone into this new 6 album project i seem to be going over and over tweaking and changing and so far its all been for the good of what im doing but nothing is finished still!

have you even had a plan that you though was easy?then got into it and realise how difficult it really was and did it make you contemplated jumping ship? like “that too hard i’ll leave it” ?

well i get to that point on a weekly basis but i don’t ever consider leaving it its just another hurdle to overcome to get me to my goal of making all this stuff come together.

i though i was totally ready with itunesLP volume 1 and 2 and a few days ago just as we are submitting it for delivery to Apple im told the whole layout has a “title safe'” issue on the apple TV?

this far down and now all my design layout has to be re-adjusted using a “title safe” boarder arrrrrr!

the thing is i have made up almost 10 itunes LP’s using my template that i designed and thought was fineso suddenly getting this info is devastating as i have been preparing future iTunesLP releases also and now its all wrong?

im hoping my programmer is not as miffed at this info as me as i need her on board to make some of the coding changes and im still working from 2:00am every morning but now i am re doing what i though was done again again again .. .

see this is the problem when you do almost everything yourself the ideas including design/ photoshop and obviously the music.
there is so much to know so many technical bits you have to learn on the fly the whole thing on so many levels is complex and the cost when i have to re-do is ..aaarrrrrr!

what annoys me is these templates were done ages ago and i though they were ok as they have been pushed around with those that should know so this is one massive step backwards in the plan.

anyway the extra time im going to need means i’m closer to getting my ipad book and my iphone game ready in time for the first release (possibly january 2011),
yes i see the delay in a positive light as its all i have to keep me from pulling my hair out.
I do hope people realise just how much of my life this project has taken up and with a team i can count on half of one hand to help me (on and off) its been a lot more than just making good underground dance music.

but this is how i have always been when i ran the radio or the raves it was my hands on everything my vision and i had to learn everything and try not to make too many mistakes but in all those missions succeeded and so i hope the same will be on this lonely mission.

here is a screen shot off the iphone game background :)hope you like it the ipad book/game version is really exciting also as its being translated into Japanese,german,spanish,itialian, french and mark ruff ryder bad english.
the ipad comic has animations of parts of the story and lots of other ipad specials…

anyway back to work on re-re-re…re-doing all the itunesLP pages AGAIN!


update on me!




I have had a battling few years now with my depression and my work life ect.. 

All things are so inter-twined; the balance has to some how not tip too far in any direction, which is not easy for me to hold together. 

When i’m working I totally immense myself into my work which puts all other things in my life on the shelf so family and friends get shut out and I convince myself its for the better as finishing my work is beneficial to them as it pays the bill and also makes me who I am, but actually I know that’s not true its an excuse for not being able to balance my life in any real way. I seem to only be able to focus on the thing I feel is important at that time and I really do need to finish my work as its been around 4 years now and until its out no one is going to understand it so needs must!

It’s not easy balancing life, as I don’t have a regular anything my job is like an inventor rather than a worker, my family life hectic and unpredictable  (possibly like everyone’s else’s)

I just “don’t” cope well with it’s stresses and the chocolate & drink are supposed to chill me out but i’m not sure that’s the effect I end up with as everything is done to excess.

So work has been my focus these last few years and more so this last year as I feel like i’m coming to the completion of this mammoth 6 albums story.

In a way its pulled me through and kept me focused on a reason to keep going as without this being completed I feel I would leave a very big gap in my plans for family and friends.

I do feel much better now than I did at the beginning/middle of my depression although I would not say I was fixed i’m more like a broken glass that’s been super glued back together.

Well at lest i’m still usable and that’s the point really at least I have a use still.

So I though I would blog this out as if any of you followed the deeper blogs that were on MySpace at least you will know as difficult as things have been and still are i’m defiantly on the right track back to a type of normality.


Realease day of the albums will soon arrive… but then what next maybe redo these for itunesLP?


Apple has a great plan I just wish they would help us little people join in


Apple has a great plan I just wish they would help us little people join in

Ok another apple rant but this time is more positive as i’m almost at the end on my mammoth iTunes LP dance music story projects 

Its been a really hard uphill struggle to make and get this massive project working to the iTunes LP specs as no one really knows much about it and when I say no one I really mean just four authorised companies apple could recommend regarding iTunes LP projects and the cost to work with them was astronomical

Yes I know people have done bits and bobs using iTunes LP format outside of the Apple sphere but I could not find anyone who knew what to do that had any real experience of getting it submitted and allowed into the apple world of iTunes LP via iTunes.

I must say that as lucky as I am to have a direct account with apple its still not been easy to get the advice and help I need yet i’m here on the cutting edge of their technology trying to make my albums work in their (apple) vision

Its not been easy but i’m hoping it will be financially rewarding as I know as a music artist I have to change from the old way of vinyl and cds to the new way of digital and I have accepted this change as inevitable but I wont give up the idea that people will buy into an artist whole album project as songs alone don’t really tell the story of an artist where as albums do and they take longer to enjoy and understand but to me that’s what makes a great artist rather than a commercial one hit wonder

I just wish apple could help us truly independent artist to understand better what apple are doing rather than having so much secrecy.

I have been chasing them for my Ping account and it seems unless I fire off an email directly to Steve jobs I just don’t get taken seriously as I know everyone is asking for this new feature the queue of artists is massive and every account has to be verified but with this back log I have no choice but to delay all my releases again as I can not release an iTunes LP and change it once its out and if I don’t have my relevant ping account included into my iTunes LPs how will I make the most of apples ping plans on artist and music integration?


I have had to do everything almost all alone and so far its almost 4 years into the project and this includes my pre planning and assumption of the iTunes lp format so i was already 1 year ahead of the iTunes LP in my concepts for the albums.

I’m almost ready but again I get something new arrive in the form of PING and have to be put my projects in a queue to get what I need before I can release the iTunes LP’s .

There are people around me that think I will never release this project and they just don’t understand the whole project 

People are thinking in the old way or even the ‘New old way’ of music sales, 

what i mean is the old way was buying album cds and the ‘new old way’ is buying single digital tracks (cherry picking your tracks off albums) but rarely buying whole albums.

The “New New way” will be iTunesLP but you have to make something captivating that’s worth you buying the whole album experience and getting the whole artist plan. 

Now that’s what i’m doing!

I just need to get it right and I don’t seem to have any support from Apple even though i’m using all the cutting edge facilities Apple are creating in a way that would show so many others where the album concept is going. I have seen the examples apple have released but without the infrastructure to make that stuff how can we get it going and i’m almost there but its been a real labor of love with no help or assistance from anyone and not many people knowledgeable in this area so i’m worried the whole concept apple is doing might stall

Anyone who can help in programming iTunes LPs is always welcome to contact me also info on running my ping would be cool or making apps on the iphone at a cost i could afford or because your passionate like me and what to join in?.

Coming soon to an iTunes near you soon??  The whole album project tells a story through comic book and comic music videos and the songs them selves it spreads across 6 separate iTunes LP albums which also cover many different musical styles of the UK underground dance music scene

There is currently nothing like this and i suppose the nearest concept in my mind might be the ‘war of the worlds’ cd album set although i would not say i’m in that league being underground dance music but it will hit my underground genera right where it needs to in a original and unique way.



Mark Ruff Ryder

Strictly Underground Businezz…every time!

Some more Apple geek speak


Some more Apple geek speak 

Steve jobs new rules on the API programming on Mac’s

A lot of hullaballoo is taking place with apple gaming programmers at the min as the terms of contact between apple and those writers of apps rules of use has recently changed, I seem to be able to see what’s going on (from a far) and its common sense reasoning by apple seems correct but the ways it does things seem totally unfair to many who support them with their own innovation for apples products.

Many programmers are realizing how difficult it is to keep to Apples strict rules only to see them change and suddenly feel left out in the cold and as I’m currently working on tons of ITunes LP projects i’m hoping the rules in my field don’t suddenly change again as Apple has the power to bankrupt small investors in Apple technology (like the many app programmers are feeling now)

From my understanding it seems that adobe turned a light switch on at the Apple camp with their buggy flash, which was always crashing and freezing and generally causing havoc with the web and any product that relied on a battery power supply. Adobe made Apple products seem bad when it was actually flash causing the crashing and batty life to be sucked away from the apple hardware.

Apple hated this badly written intermediary between seeing apps and their hardware. But adobe although having made a badly power hungry translator (middle ware) had in its invention also allowed millions of not so geeky programmers to learn a faster way to get a finished result as long as they used the ‘flash’ system in between the code and the output.

MY basic understanding and example : for the less geeky 

Imaging flash as a language translator you (the programmer) don’t want to have to learn the real Apple language (let says its Chinese) so you just use flash (who you can talk to in a flash language which is simpler) and let flash translate out the result.

That’s why apple want flash gone. Its an intermediary between the source and the result and its not really that good at getting the message over because it crashes a lot and takes a lot of extra processing (battery life) to get that same result, with out flash you need to learn the real language but then everything is smoother and no chances of failure in translation

Apple want just he source coding and the result because then they can work on making their hardware last longer in the field as this clean line of code needs no power hungry flash in the middle to make Apple products seem bad (when it crashes of the battery dies too quickly).

I understand apples approach (keep it streamlined) and I also understand the programmer’s problems (to be a programmer you have to learn the real code there are no short cuts)

I use programs that make me flash banners in a few clicks I have no coding experience in flash it’s a great product for super end results but I understand how it’s a pain for Apple as this seemingly short cut to a massive result is costing them in crashing apps and low battery life and its not apples fault 

(i’m in not even mentioning how bad flash is for security venerability’s which Apple doesn’t need either).

I’m having similar problems trying to work in the strict Apple rules with iTunes LP and its costing me a fortune using those programmers that have already had stuff passed as they know how its done but i’m never going to be a css programmer so it’s a very expensive way to work for me and also some programmers that only know how to use intermedia apps to get the result they want are going to lose their ability to work with Apples new rules and so we will all have to evolve (go back to school and learn the code or pay the few that know the code) or die. 

I know other plug-in’s are affected buy this new rule change also and it means more work for the programmers and more investment for those creators who just want to create.

I’m all for keeping as many middle men out of the loop but it’s a very painful pill to swallow when Apple just out of the blue make a change and expect everyone to suffer all the investment and time for apple products as it is us trying to support Apples platform.

I’m praying the iTunes LP is not suddenly changed, dropped, or some other out of the blue decision is made by Apple that will cost me years of hard work and investment in Apples products as i will be devastated like so many in the games platform are right now.

I just want things to settle down so I can get on with what I love doing which is being creative and more and more that is getting lost in all these non creative things


What is a recording artist? what makes an artist an artist?


I’ve never really had to ponder these things in the past because I have always just followed my passion in music without regard for the trend of the moment being so in bedded in the uk underground music scene i have been pushing music forward in ways that might not be the normal expected sound of the moment and that said I would never presume to have invented anything or any style but i’m pretty sure I have been influential in moving things along in the uk dance music scene but that’s not a fact its just how I see it and your welcome to think otherwise, but recently with my new and very difficult set of albums  i’m questioning what exactly i’m supposed to be and to who?

Putting my name on music and I’m  feeling more like an artist than a record producer, especially since recently i’m reading feedback from the self professed movers and shakers in radio and press who question where I am with what i’m doing , i’m getting feedback like “this is not in one style?” or “its all a bit too varied” and for the acid dubs album comments like “its interesting to listen to but will people get it “ or “it sounds very old skool”

I read these things and wonder how if i’m a creative artist I can truly be creative without being stamped on with comments that want to place me in one style rather than just take the trip for what it is meant to be, comments like it sounds a bit 90’s on an acid house albums is like saying every morning the sun will rise (like der?)

My intention in my music will always be misunderstood I supposed because too many people want one thing and nothing different as an artist its not my intention to follow the trend of the day just to be in and trendy,

I know my ability to make music is varied and those that know me know i’m able to match up to anything right now that’s being made but as an artist i’m trying to be different and break out from the normal expected sound of now and i’m trying to mix up old and new and not be categorised as one style, to me being an artist is all these things and anything less is a compromise and blatantly designed for the masses and the reviewers to just keep with the current flow (if you fit your cool).

I suppose that’s why I never used to put my name on tracks as being told the stuff is rubbish or doesn’t fit by someone who has not skills in making music them selves but has the power to diss you in print is very painful its like people can totally not understand what your doing but tell everyone its rubbish and you have no means to respond.

I realise that’s one of the reasons I have all my life just put the music out and let it work its way up on its own merits, the main stream only want main stream and if you try to give them anything different from what they want they just think its old or wrong or wont work.

Ho hum i’m just ranting but also realising my fears of rejection as an artist are always hard to take and it’s a bit like being bullied but someone you cant fight back against but can turn the hole class against you.

Being an artist is when you stand up and say this is who I am do you like me, I realise having been a ‘record producer all y life’ that why I don’t like being an artist but this is where I am and I will stand up for what I do and hopefully people will take the time to see each album as a journey and not the next lady gag a release, what make what I do special is that I do it with a serious history of success and so i’m not blind in what i’m doing i’m just determined to do it this way. 

It you try to bag and tag this music it you wont get it, you have to want to take the trip for what it is and it is not the next big thing its just an artist being totally unique and pushing things in various ways outside of the obvious norms.

We (artists) are not all of us, commercial robots in the music industry. Put on your raving shoes and unplug your-self from the matrix of bland music that is currently in control of your lives. I cant guarantee you’ll like it but at least you would have understood that this artist is pushing thing in a totally different and unique way to anyone else right now and yes it has an old skool flavour which is intended and being different well, that’s what I have always done its just now I’m so far different that those that are designed to only understand the sound of the moment with that attitude to creative artists your never gonna get this at all, you just have to want to try to understand that its nothing like now but its still underground from the uk and its all totally original. and maybe my nothing like now might trigger off other to make similar experiments and my nothing like now will be come the now..thats was a good artist can do when trying to be different.


Its never been easy being an artist but in today’s world it now both easy and almost totally impossible.


20+ years making music and I look back on what I have done and I understand why others don’t believe its all my work as I have spent all my life covering it all up so well, I could make music like Mac Donald’s makes hamburgers, i’m a music junkie, I live for music in ways I can’t explain but while my music making is my way of breathing its also for me become almost impossible to breath anymore in this new world where music has no value or support.

In the past I could knock up a tune and take it straight to the mastering room (where my mate did the cutting) and get the dub plate cut for cash and within 1 week would have fresh pressed vinyl manufactured by the pressing plant (10 mins up the road from my house) and it would be shipped to my distributor (20 miles up the road) to sell around the world.

This was a great way to just make music and put it out and once I knew the right few people in my chain to retail then I was sorted! it was easy and almost all my time went into making music. I would live in my studio every day only doing only music things that helped my music and the scene I love so much. (uk underground music scene)

For me this was a simple route with no clutter and no distractions all artwork I drew myself all artists were actually me under different names it was a 1 man factory with a global outlet ‘Strictly Underground Records’, I had a handful of friends  (under ten) over my whole life of running Strictly underground they came and went and all stayed friends most of them helping in the studio on various music we made together some were mc’s some were other passionate producers and all got paid for their help which I could structure based on what money was coming in from my record sales.

It was all my music so I had total control of how I could spend the money, which allowed me to build my own little bubble of an underground music scene.

My team of friends was a really tight team of friends all who loved the scene and the vibe like me but maybe only had one great skill and wanted to use that with me on my massive mission.

People used to moan back then on how hard it was to get up the ladder in music and how you needed a deal with an advance to get anywhere and to some extent that was true especially if you were so unique or looking at the main stream industry ,then you needed a lot of promotion for people to get into you and buy into your music vibe.

I built strictly underground up just from the music and the parts that were musically driven (pirate radio/ raves) it was a real scene and it was independent from the world of the music business and the pop culture of music. 

I created my own vibe and life style via my label, parties, and radio and music it was driven by the passion of the UK underground and making money was something that just grew and grew over time and allowed me to grow also with what I was doing (better studio, bigger parties, more pirates radio stations always about the music and the raving ..

My little bubble just got bigger and bigger but to me it was still a totally ‘non music biz’ bubble and everyone in it was passionate about the scene and the vibe we created.

NOW all Those things have all been reset.

The Internet and the MP3 has made getting music to the world very easy and with programs that make the music for you just clicking the randomiser button makes you an instant reording artist. 

 It’s very easy to make music and get it spread around the world. So being an artist has never been any easier than it is now and that’s a good thing for people who want to express them selves through music making, but the downside is that now music seems so disposable and worthless. 

 This new way has many drawbacks and now with so much music it’s not easy to make any impact as everything sound and looks the same and nothing really sticks out.

I never made music to be and ‘Artist’ my music was a specific expression and it evolved around a scene which I help to expand and create because my passion to enjoy the music was as important as the music I made which also came from the scene i loved.

I had a bubble that was the UK Underground Dance Music scene but I don’t see any scene’s growing in the real world or any serious cultural niche’s anymore there are some but its not like before, its all just music and its very disposable to people, its good that more people like more music but no one seems to be passionate about any music now. 

So how do I create a following and captivate an audience to get them into what I’m doing and how can I be different and standout as more than just a 5min track that’s just like every other 5 min track out there?

I have had to start again right from the beginning almost re-running my life all over again from the first day I made my first ever record and got knocked back by every single distributor and could not get my music plaid on any radio stations or get anyone to promote it.

I’m back at this point like a start up having to find all the new points of contact in this new computer programmed world of music and finding those computer people who can help me on my specific music mission… This i have found is almost impossible. 

I have been Trying to regroup a new network like the one I used to have in the old model of music but this time its not about music lovers its more about programming and computers and money.

My music is now part of a bigger set of tools that are expected with the music in today’s world, I need to program for iTunes LP and that needs videos pictures all sorts of in direct music things. I found that I never needed to create this stuff my bubble in the old days but now, in this new digital virtual world of music I need to create a scene for my music with all these different tools.

My new world distributor is Apple inc.  and that contact alone took 5 years to get locked down, they are like the secret service when it comes to communications (at least I could call my old distributor and tell him my plans and see how it would or if fit with his network), yeah I know i’m an ant in the scheme of Apple but that’s the problem and what makes being an artist now almost impossible beyond just releasing stuff blindly. 

As small as I am I still have to jump though the same hoops as the major record companies  (like I did in the past) but the challenges now are not as easy as finding the mastering room and pressing plant  

Its now all about finding the right programmers and designers and all things computers and very tons of other non-music but also very specialised technically challenging and mind bending things that a normal artist would never know (me included) .

These people in the know are extremely hard to find and also very very expensive to use (if they have the time to even deal with you) 

Making my underground music compete in this new worlds is now almost impossible unless you have bags of money. In the past my record could sit next to the major releases because they we both records (vinyl or cd) and both had gone to the retailer who decided what to rack up.

As much as my music was an underground style it could still site with the most commercial release that week if the retailer liked the product and knew it had a market that wanted it.

Now you need serious money just to get to the product stage (its no longer a record it’s a specialized file format)
Yes I know anyone can upload an mp3 release and it’s for sale but what’s the point in being the billionth release that week if no one knows? and single MP3? that’s not my format I want to sell a ‘trip’ an ‘adventure’ a ‘scene’ and ‘escape’ i’m making albums not 5min tracks




ITLP the format that’s could release me or ruin me in my plans to stand up again

You need now more than ever all the computer geeks to make your product rich in content and special, even deserving to be shown and seen and I’m not afraid to make, grow and improve.

I have spent the last 5 years doing just that on this new set of six albums that are a massive journey incorporating all the new media parts, but its been so hard and costly and the music is just one part in this new media format

I have to play this game like its going to me a massively popular major release just so I can stand out from the crowd.
That might not sound like a bad thing but remember these programmer designers and stuff are really expensive and that’s if you can even find a good one.

 I’m all for competition but when the door (to iTunes lp) is so small and almost always closed its not really a fair game trying to get in and the entrance fee is so ridiculously steep

As much as I’m potentially accessible around the world i’m also now locked out from having the chance to compete side by side with the big companies like I could before. I’m frustrated by ITLP (iTunes LP) because its the format I want to use but its so expensive to get anything done on this format!
I feel locked out and the challenges are daily for me on all levels of this new media world because i’m doing almost everything myself and the only thing i’m building up is a nice fat dept mountain in this process.

I have found people who can offer some help here and there and those I currently have are the bomb for what they do for me and while also realising I don’t have a money tree in my garden im just getting by so far..

This is so much like when I first started Strictly Underground, it was always driven by passion and determination to succeed and the debts to pay were just as high for an unemployed youth back then
But now 20years on with a family to feed and still my mission to complete I wish I could say it was easier or even the same but its now almost impossible as the challenges now are enormous and even if you had money you might not find the right people to fit with Apples strict and secretive rules of acceptance for your product.

Its not easy anymore to be a serious indpendent artist unless you have all these things in place and it all costs a ton of cash, Yes I can still do underground but if there is no underground scene how can I plug in?

Now like in the old days I have to start again and try and create a scene but without spending thousands and losing my house and sanity

I suppose what frustrates me the most is not the challenge because I believe in what i’m doing. It’s really the fact that most of the challenges have nothing to do with the music but more about the programming and Apple geekness.
My music and plan was done ages ago but i’m still trying to get it ported to this very expensive and frustrating media so it will work right and this is not the same as smelling the vinyl I made and selling it to the shops or making posters for a little rave and handing out flyers to clubbers, as you could feel the excitement and passion in doing all those things.

Now its just computer code and huge bills to pay all held together by my 18-hour days I spend in front of the computer for the last how many years?..where did the music and enjoyment go?.

 (To those who are now thinking ‘that’s life shut up and get on with it’ I would agree with you I don’t blog to always make points I sometimes blog because i’m so frustrated and need to reference my own thoughts later on and right now i’m trapped and just thinking out what’s been happening and what’s changed.I know there will be loads of other artist who also need to get their music out but find its behind a list of computer things that have to be done first.)

And dont get me started about release date and all the pirating on my music thats another whole worrie on if i can keep going..


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Mark Ruff Ryder © Strictly Underground Records Since 1988